Well, we are back from our trip to Alaska, we were gone from May 24th - June 2nd, 2007. We flew into Seattle and then were driven across the border by our friend, Mary to Vancouver. It was a four hour flight, with a three hour time difference, so we left at 8:30 pm and arrived around 9:30 pm. Below is the story of our trip relayed by Lynn with a few additions by Jeff.
Alaska . . . where truly the best things in life are free
The mountain views
The snow on top of the mountains
The springing to life of the greenery and flowers
The sea and the waves
The dolphins, the whales, the sea lions, the otters and the eagles
The stories that others have to share
The journey began with boarding the Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas around 11:00 a.m. Our friend, Mary Carson Ford dropped us off at the port of Vancouver after having spent 2 nights and a wonderful day together in Vancouver (visiting and sight seeing Stanley Park, dining at the Beach House, and walking along the Kits beach area, etc.). We dined in the Windjammer while our cabin, 3121, was being prepared. Not long after our boarding (which went very smoothly) we met up with Jan Masters and Dwight Reynolds, our dear friends from Florida (use to own the condo above us in Key Largo and live in Miami).
Dwight and Jeff were totally sold on the teeth whitening program on the ship so they made an appt.; all of us (yep, Jeff & Dwight too!) signed up for Ladies Night Spa Specials (massage/steam, etc) for Monday night.
We dined in the Reflections dining room with seminar at sea group; the rest of the evenings we dined with Dwight and Jan at an oceanview table in a smaller quieter area.
Lynn attended a 2 hour class session in the morning. Jeff hit the tread mill to burn some calaries and time. Sea day
Sitka, May 28th
First port stop . . . Sitka. We got up early and were able to see some otters and seals from the boat. We all went ashore via tender after breakfast and enjoyed the day walking thru the Totem Park (a short walk from the port area). Wonderful array of totem poles throughout this lush forest area and many lovely lookout points where you could view the ship in the port waters. En route to the Totem Park we saw many bald eagles; a majestic sight to behold! Charming, easy town to navigate on your own. Had lunch in town (Jeff had Reindeer Sausage sandwich), popped into a few shops and viewed the area from a lookout before boarding the tender back to the ship.
Our Ladies Night Spa special was awaiting us after boarding the ship; 5:30 p.m. appts. For us all!
Our waiter and assistant in the dining room are Jorge from the Phillipines and Yrene from Peru.
Hubbard Glacier, May 29th
Cruising Hubbard Glacier after Lynn attended a brief class session. The weather was cold, rainy and windy but we were all awed by the views just the same. Not able to get the ship up too close to the glacier due to the amount of ice in the water still. That said still got a bounty of great photo ops. First Formal Night.
Skagway, May 30th
Amazing morning . . . awoke docked at Skagway and proceeded to the spa for the $69 top to toe special (Jan and Dwight also partook but Jeff passed on it-off to the elliptical for a workout). Began with Acupuncture . . . pins in my feet, legs, belly, hands, head, shoulders . . . and then an amazingly relaxing time of breathing and remembering loved ones . . . and after the needles were removed, I felt like I was floating as the treatment continued with foot massage, facial and head massage. A relaxing lounging on the thermal chaise lounge before showering and heading back to the room.
Took the shuttle from the port into town and did a bit of shopping. Then, rented a car at Sourdough Car Rental for $80/day (plus $30 for gas); drove with Jeff, Jan & Dwight to Emerald Lake in the Yukon with many wonderful scenery stops along the way. Stopped in Carcross at the General Store, shortly thereafter the White Pass & Yukon Railway cars pulled in. Then on our way down the road again til turning around at Emerald Lake to head back. Also took the road to Dyea and more scenery stops (like the lookout that overlooked the port and ship are) to include a walk around the Slide Cemetary area.
Juneau, May 31st
Up early, breakfast in the Windjammer before going ashore to Juneau. Took a trip to the post office to mail our dirty laundry back home in flat rate priority mail boxes. Then flagged a taxi (Evergreen Taxi . . . Steve) who drove us for $30 to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Awesome, Spectacular views/surroundings! After many photo ops, walked the 3.5 mile East Glacier Trail (clockwise) through moss filled forest, great glacier views and by many waterfalls and other breathtaking scenery!! A wonderful, exhilarating 2 hour walk. Taxi back to Juneau (phoned and Steve picked us back up) shopped in town a bit and then walked back to the ship.
Late in the afternoon after boarding the ship hung out in the Vortex Lounge on deck 13 where there are wonderful panoramic views. Enjoyed some whale watching with Jan & Dwight.
2nd formal night; lobster dinner and then to bed!
The bedding in the cabin is so wonderful it's hard to get up and out of bed!! After breakfast in the Windjammer Lynn went to her final class (many of the directors from the ships different areas made presentations . . . then each class group gave a selling Alaska presentation . . . Lynn did the presenting for her group). Jeff was off to the treadmill again, then toured the ship and read the news.
After class, had lunch and went back to the cabin to pack our bags. Then hung out in the Hollywood Odyssey lounge, enjoying the views . . . stunning snow capped mountains in the background and the beautiful sea. Awaiting our 6:30 p.m. dinner at Chops (specialty restaurant onboard, which is actually Morton's minus the franchise fee), viewed whales around 4:40 p.m . . . spouting water and then watching for their appearance jumping out of the water! People cheering and clapping with delight and appreciation . . . a happy occasion.
At 5:20 p.m. I was alone in the lounge, looking out to sea when a man entered and sat down at the piano and began to play . . . incredibly beautiful . . . literally being serenaded at sea!! ahhhh
Bags were packed and in the hall by 11:00 pm. Then off to sleep.
Up early to shower, eat, and out of the room by 8:00 am. You wait around the ship until they call your color for exiting the ship. We were picked up by Mary and drove back to her house with her mother Louise. On our way we stopped to eat at a nice restaurant with warm soft scones, and stopped at a rose garden. Then off to see her house and say hi to Ray and see all the nice work they have done on their new house. By 7:00 pm we started our drive to the airport to get back home. We were back in Detroit by 5:30 am.